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The Paddington Plan

by JohnnyA 

Posted: 17 July 2006
Word Count: 1595
Summary: Watch your kids. They know more than they let on and can land you in trouble.

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Dad had really been getting on my nerves and I think thats partly why I did it. It was to help him a bit, but mainly to get him off my back. I figured if he had someone around, maybe hed leave me alone. Besides most of my mates parents had girlfriends or boyfriends or wives and husbands. Why not my Dad? So I placed an ad in the Paddington Times without telling him.


Im not ashamed of what I do. It pays the bills and I earn more than enough to have a life. Plus it keeps me fit and allows me time during the day to study for my Masters. Truth is, I really enjoy my job. Its amazing the amount of power you can wield just by taking your clothes off.

However I have found dating really hard. Most of the blokes I meet are either lecherous perverts or a sad whacko with nothing better to do then send me pathetic messages and photos over the internet. Id given up on the internet dating thing after my mailbox got clogged with messages basically all saying I look horny and would I be well up for it? Please!

It was after wed finished work for the evening a while back that Jenna suggested I try looking at the personal ads in the local paper. She admitted thats how she met Tim. I was shocked, because Tim was the first guy Id seen Jenna go out with that I actually liked. So after another Saturday night off with just a bottle of wine for company, I thought what the hell! and gave the local Times a once over.


Marcus had been acting very strangely and I couldnt put my finger on it. Hed become very quiet. Usually Id come home from work whereby Id yell at Marcus for not tidying up or watching the TV when he should be doing his home work. Hed then respond by shouting that I never let him do his own thing and that all I did was yell. So I started to worry when I came home the other week and he did what I asked him to do without argument. I got two weeks of bliss before he sprang his surprise.


Hi there,

Ive never answered one of these before because I think its only sad or desperate people who post them. However my friend answered one and shes now going out with a guy who I think is really nice. So I figured if she can be sad and desperate enough to give this a try, I guess I can too.

You dont sound or look like an axe murderer and Im just searching for a really nice guy who can make me laugh and like me for me. Do you know what I mean?

Anyway, Im 29, single with a steady job and Im studying for a Masters in Photography. I love films and any comedy that doesnt have Adam Sandler in it. If you think thats a good match for you then drop me a line. Or not. Up to you completely. Ive attached a recent photo so I dont give you any false impressions.

Nice to chat and maybe hear from you soon!


Out of the five responses Dad had got, this was the best. The other four were really weird and sad. One had asked if Dad was into role playing in the bedroom. I know Im only fourteen, but even I realised she wasnt talking about the latest Playstation game.

Dawn sounded all right and she looked good for someone so old. I didnt worry about replying and by the end of the week Id arranged a date with her and my Dad at the Paddington Arms. The problem was getting him there.


I was so nervous the night before. My concentration was crap at work and I fell off the poles a few times doing a routine. Thank God my boss sent me home early.

All day Saturday was spent worrying about what I should wear and I even conscripted Jenna into helping me choose an outfit. After hours of emptying my wardrobe we settled on a pair of long black trousers that highlighted my legs without being too sluttish. For my top Jenna came up with a creamy white blouse with faint patterns down the side and across the chest. She topped it off with a silk neck scarf Id bought on a trip to Greece last year and a pair of black shoes with high heels. I thought I looked like a waitress but Jenna told me to stop being stupid and practically kicked me out the door and on my way to meet Paul.


I smelt a rat the moment Marcus innocently suggested we go out that evening for some quality time. He said it had been ages since wed been out and all his mates were away so what was the problem?

I wasnt sure how to answer that so we left the flat around seven oclock, but not before Marcus had insisted I dress up in a smart pair of trousers and my nice shirt. He said hed get embarrassed if anyone saw him walking along with me in jeans and trainers. Id given up trying to understand teenagers long ago so just agreed.

It was a lovely summer evening along Marylebone road, but Marcus seemed distracted and every suggestion I made about going to the cinema or Pizza Express was met with quiet disgust. It wasnt until we were walking by the Paddington Arms that Marcus woke up.

Why dont we go in here for a bit Dad? They serve food and Im allowed in as long as youre with me.

Since when did Marcus know which pubs allowed kids and served food? We went in, only two minutes after wed found a table Marcus suddenly slapped his head, saying hed forgotten something important at home. He got up to leave. I said Id come too, but he rolled his eyes and told me to stop being so old and paranoid. Utterly confused I let him go.

A minute later this absolutely stunning red head came walking over and sat herself in front of me smiling and rubbing her arm nervously.


I got home and kept thinking that Dawn would have met Dad by now and that either Dad was on his way back to kill me, or he and Dawn were both on their way back to kill me. Whichever way, I figured I didnt have long to live, so I raided the fridge and ate through a cheesecake. If I was going to die, I was going to die on a full stomach.

It was about nine oclock that the phone rang.
Oh hi Dad! Er, hows it going?
There was silence at the other end of the line.
You are in big trouble young man.
Why? What have I done now?
Dont even start Marcus, Dawn explained it all. What on earth were you thinking?
I shrugged but remembered he couldnt see me.
Not only did you mislead me into a date this evening Marcus, but you misled Dawn as well! I am very angry with you!
I kept thinking; hang on a minute, Dad keeps saying her name.
So how long am I grounded for this time?
Well discuss it in the morning. Right now I want you in bed. If I see any sign of movement from your room when I get in, theyll be even more trouble. Understood?
Yes Dad. So, what time are you going to be home?
Thats none of your concern Marcus! Bed, now!
He hung up and it was a few minutes until I put the phone down. No way! Had my plan worked?!


After Paul came back, he kept apologising but I told him it was funny. He said as Id come all this way the least he could do was buy me dinner as long as I didnt mind his company. I felt embarrassed but I was hungry.

As we got chatting over our steak and chips I began to enjoy myself. Paul was funny, intelligent and to be honest, very good looking. I couldnt believe he was a single parent! He was thirty five but he looked much younger. Apparently his ex girlfriend had Marcus when he graduated from Leeds but didnt tell him about it. Two years later she dumped Marcus on Paul and hed been looking after him ever since.

Paul was being very open with me and I was enjoying myself so much that I was thrilled when he said hed like to see me again. I said yes but realised I owed him just as much honesty, so I told him what I do for a living.


I kept thinking about how much I wanted to strangle and hug Marcus at the same time. The whole evening had been a happy disaster.

When Dawn told me she was a stripper I think she thought Id run a mile. I have to admit it was touch and go there for a second, but when I thought back on the evening and how much Id enjoyed her company and how she didnt run out herself when she learned about Marcus, I realised how rare something like this is.

You know, I rarely tell people Im a Tax Inspector. What are you doing next Thursday?

The End

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Comments by other Members

E_M_P at 13:06 on 19 December 2007  Report this post
Loved it. Coming from a finance background I know how Paul feels!

All the characters are likeable and the piece was easy to read.

It was nice to read everyone's thoughts in the first person rather than having a one-sided speculation. It suited the events perfectly.

My only criticism is that Adam Sandler is far too good to be disrespected here and any 29 year old worth her salt would agree with me!

Have you watched Sleepless in Seattle lately by any chance?!

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